You're Doing it Wrong... – The Self Defense Company

You’re Doing it Wrong…

You’re Doing it Wrong…

If you posted a video anything, (especially in martial art and self defense) – without FAIL a self proclaimed “expert” will emerge and point out some useless detail that has no bearing of the effectiveness of the technique.

This is one reason why I RARELY post or comment.

Bottom line – if it works, DON’T FIX IT.

I have literally trained and coached thousands of people in at least SEVEN different disciplines and one things for certain – once you get beyond the basic concept of a technique, it will vary from person to person and as long as it works…LET IT ALONE.

A while ago, some “Facebook Expert” criticized one of my judo throws, Osotogari (big outer reap) – well that poorly executed throw won me multiple state and national championships in judo – so apparently it’s good enough on SOME LEVEL.

But it’s not just me – Mike Tyson was constantly criticized for his “lack of boxing skills” yet he still managed to knock a lot of guys out. If you looked at 10 different baseball players you would see 10 different hitting styles and if you went to 10 different batting coaches you would get 10 different opinions.

The need to OVER-CORRECT and OVER ANALYZE is one thing that separates the bad coaches from the GREAT coaches.

Most “experts” need to justify their existence by LOOKING FOR FAULTS and over correcting. This runs rampant in the martial arts world. 

I guess they feel they get “paid by the word” and if they’re not saying something – they feel they’re not doing their job.

Truth is this is a sign of incompetence and insecurity.

Instructors who MICROMANAGE technique to the point of insanity only HURT the student because the student is so focused on the minuscule, meaningless detail that they forget the purpose of the technique.

That’s when the learning STOPS because the student starts to become self conscious and begins to shut down.

Part of the learning process is exploration – making mistakes and SELF CORRECTING. Given enough time, your body will figure out out to accomplish the task in the most efficient way possible. 

Who am I to tell you you need to turn your foot 30 degrees more, or lift your elbow another half inch if you’re blasting your target!!!

When I coach or instruct it’s simple – give the WHY, HOW and WHEN and then… “STFU”.

Purpose, concept, and basic movement. Then I shut my mouth.

In a 50 minute session I will only correct you on 2 or 3 things if needed. It’s really all anyone can handle.

Anything more is going to have a negative effect on your learning curve.

In my opinion a good coach should get you there faster and farther. Yet martial artists pride themselves on HOW LONG it took to do something.


To be honest, if it takes you several years to get a black belt this tells me that either you, your instructor or your “system” are faulty.

The reason martial arts take so long is because martial arts schools charge tuition that is based on time – the LONGER you train the MORE MONEY they make (let that sink in a bit).

Martial arts are a business that thrives when you take longer.

In reality, the OPPOSITE should be true – you should actually pride yourself on how LITTLE time it took. In my late 30’s it took me 8 months to get my black belt in judo and another 6 months to get me second degree. 

If it took me several years to teach you anything, I should be fired.

As a fully grown adult with consistent training, you’re going to get as good as you’re going to be in about one to three years (depending on your natural ability). This includes competitive sports as well.

You either HAVE IT or you DON’T – and you don’t need to spend boatloads of cash trying to turn a pig into a princess.

Sorry if I went off a bit here, but everyday I see people spend thousands upon thousands of dollars on excessive coaching – from youth sports to self defense – it’s the same ol’ shit.

“Expert” over corrects, gets you super self conscious and you wind up being worse off than when you started.

Train Honestly,


PS. What’s an expert? Someone who lives more than 50 miles away and charges you over $100 an hour.

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Published by Damian (Instructor)

Founder, The Self Defense Company

Join the Conversation


  1. Very good comment on a topic that is all around in sports and exercise. As in your programs, Damian, you provide a pragmatic approach.

    1. Thanks Max.

      You know – I was away from coaching kids and high school sports for about 10 years, then after watching my own kids grow up and coaching on all levels (except college) seeing how much time and money parents throw at this stuff…it’s insane.

      A n elite athlete either has it, or doesn’t and there’s no personal coach that’s going to make the difference. You need God given talent, opportunity and luck.

      A billion dollar business has exploded – travel teams, personal trainers and coaches….all geared at parents hoping to cash in on a scholarship for their kids.

      The result has been awful.

      Kids get so over coached and burnt out by bad coaching and over bearing parents that by the time they kid to high school most of them are cynical and burnt out.

      Every sport has literally adopted the “martial arts” model and has made kids believe they need to specialize in order to be great.

      The reality is this couldn’t be further from the truth.

      In fact there’s no study that supports specialization under the age of 18.

      Now you have kids playing team sports, with no regard for the team. They move from one travel team to the next until they get a coach who tells them what they want to hear.

      That kid misses the whole point of sports – team work, dedication, sacrifice for the greater good…BROTHERHOOD.

      This get’s you ready for having a FAMILY. Because it’s not about you, it’s about us.

      Every parent thinks that if they throw enough time and money at something they’re going to create a D1 athlete.

      They move them from sport to sport and create this mercenary attitude of if I get a better offer for ME I’m going to leave.

      No wonder you have higher divorce rates and broken homes. You need to know how to make it work – but no, they just know how to leave when things don’t go your way.

      Sorry, for the rant – it’s something I feel strongly about.

  2. Like your straight to the point ,down to earth way of putting things.Infantry Veteran, ex Bodyguard. Its not rocket science, your training points are very good as you keep it simple and practical.You can spend a fortune on Martial Arts but you probably will only use about 10% of the Arts as a street situation is a different world from the dojo / gym. KISS is the way.Muscle memory and a few effective skills or its all over before you figure out whats going on. Great site Damian, best I’ve found.

  3. Rocky Marciano they said he had two left feet short arms and couldn’t box that’s experts for you ha.

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